Santa Cruz Good Times

Thursday
Dec 25th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

UC: University of Cuts

news_Blumenthal2UCSC faces a big blow from the governor’s new state budget
On what UC President Mark Yudof called a “sad day for California,” Gov. Jerry Brown announced his new state budget on Jan. 10 and a subsequent $1.4 billion budget cut to higher education—$500 million from the UCs and state schools, respectively, and $400,000 from community colleges.

“This is a historic marker of disinvestment in public education that should be disturbing to all Californians—whether they have family members attending a UC campus or not,” Yudof said in an open letter to the UC community.

As a result, Yudof will assign a reduction figure to each of the UC campuses. The schools have until March 1 to outline how they will achieve the amount in reductions. As of press time, UC Santa Cruz spokesman Jim Burns says the school has not received its reduction amount but that they expect it to be between $15 and $30 million. While they wait, he says the administration is “just now beginning the process for determining how the campus will make these reductions.”

Tiffany Dena Loftin, Student Union Assembly chair and spokesperson for the student body, expects the student reaction—which has been “disappointed” so far—to intensify once a dollar amount is put to the picture and specific services are slated for cuts.

A fourth year double major in American and political studies, Loftin says she has watched the school take a turn for the worse in her time as a Banana Slug: she’s seen faculty laid off, classes and buses become overcrowded, and her student fees grow by $500. “I have had, minimum, two friends a quarter drop out, move, or take a leave of absence because they couldn’t afford to be here and owed the school money,” she says.

Loftin’s also seen departments reorganized and majors suspended—including one of her own, American studies. This was all before the arrival of Gov. Brown’s new budget proposal, which she feels makes a clear case for the state’s disregard for education. “The state doesn’t believe education is a priority nor has it demonstrated that it believes in the future of all children in California,” she says.

Overall, Loftin says it’s a discouraging time to be a university student. “In my generation, I don’t believe that there is hope anymore to shift the discourse of education. Student organizers are getting tired of losing and feeling unheard,” says Loftin. She adds that this won’t stop them from making noise about this round of cuts. “Plenty of actions and direct action organizing are coming from what has happened,” she says. “Although we are tired, I believe education is a right, not a privilege.”

But higher education was not the only victim in the governor’s budget: it was part of $12.5 billion in reductions aimed to chip away at the state’s $25.4 billion deficit.

Assemblymember Bill Monning (D-27th District) hopes his constituents can put the cuts in perspective. “If the state were to close all of its prisons and shut down higher education altogether, that would save $19 billion,” he says. After that, he adds, we’d still be several billion short.

“If you look at the cuts to In Home Support Services, adult help day care, [etc] these are dramatically huge cuts as a percentage of the budget,” Monning says. “These are people with disabilities. When you look at the social and human services cuts and then at [cuts to] higher education … I think most people in higher education wouldn’t prefer higher cuts to those sectors to protect their own.”

Monning says that while he plans to lobby Sacramento for reinstated investment in higher education, he agrees that Gov. Brown’s “tough budget for tough times” is the responsible, albeit painful, route to go.

“I believe strongly that higher education is the on-ramp to a future economy for this state, for education, arts, alternative energy, and I will continue to champion higher education,” he says. “But we are in a moment in California’s history where we are being asked to continue or deepen the pain [of cuts], balanced by the prospect of a plan designed to move us all forward. Californians need to understand the thought the governor has given to this budget.”

Brown’s budget proposal banks on California voters to pass an extension of existing personal income tax increments, sales tax and vehicle license fees. If these measures fail at the ballot box in June, the proposed budget cuts will double—taking the situation from bad to worse.

“[The budget] is a long-term strategy, and its success depends on the people of California supporting the extension of the revenues and enduring some short-term pain,” says Monning.

He encourages college students and community members concerned about higher education funding to campaign for the upcoming ballot measures. “Be part of the organizing campaign statewide to talk with voters about the importance of supporting the extension of the existing taxes [and fees],” he says.

UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal remains optimistic about the school’s ability to persevere in the face of diminishing funds. “As a campus, we have weathered deep cuts before, always managing to preserve the integrity of this beloved institution,” Blumenthal wrote in a Jan. 10 letter to the campus community. “Our collective efforts are essential to our ability to make these reductions without eroding our accessibility, distinctiveness, and excellence.”

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Dancing In the Rain

District Attorney Bob Lee’s death in October stunned the Santa Cruz community, but he had battled cancer fiercely—and privately—for more than a decade. Now one of his closest friends reveals the remarkable inside story

 

Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Pinned Down

Actors shine in true-crime wrestling drama ‘Foxcatcher’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Best Bites of 2014

A look back at the year in good taste

 

What downtown business is good for both one-stop shopping and last-minute gifts?

The Homeless Garden Project store. Because it is a community effort and has really useful and beautiful things, and allows you to connect with a lot of folks who are doing great work in Santa Cruz. Miriam Greenberg, Santa Cruz, UCSC Professor

 

Vino Tabi Winery

One of Santa Cruz’s most happening areas to go wine tasting is in the westside’s Swift Street Courtyard complex. Ever since a group of about a dozen wineries got together and formed Surf City Vintners (SCV), the place has been a hive of activity, and a wine-tasting mecca. Adding to the mix is the lively Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing beer company—making Swift Street Courtyard a perfect spot for a glass of wine or a pitcher of ale.

 

Betty’s Eat Inn

Yes, she’s a real person; no, this isn’t her